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Hello -

First I want to thank everyone for this great resource - the info provided here is invaluable. I used this site extensively while shopping this purchase, which has taken the better part of a year. ( I am a slow learner :wink:) The rest of this post will be a recap of my Ridgeline purchase journey; sorry it is lengthy.

I brought my first Honda, a new RTL-E (Deep Scarlet Pearl), home from the dealership last weekend. This is my third pick-up. I bought a new Ford Ranger in 1999, a new Toyota Tacoma Prerunner in 2007, and now there is a Honda in my garage. I was very happy with both of those other trucks, but I absolutely love this Ridgeline.

I sort of feel like I was one of the model consumers of this truck. I envision that my profile and use case were up on a whiteboard somewhere at Honda's first design meeting for this product: "Middle-aged fat guy who wants to occasionally haul big or messy stuff, but who would never think of going off-roading and is frankly tired of getting beaten up in a traditional body-on-frame truck."

I am what I would call a "casual truck user", just hauling mulch and stuff from the store, helping friends move furniture, not really towing anything - but liking the idea that he can if he wants to (I never put a hitch on the Tacoma in ten years). But I was ready for a more comfortable ride, with some luxury features, modern entertainment options, and quiet comfort. I think this truck checks all those boxes for me.

So far I have spent a few hundred bucks at Bernardi's and a few more at Amazon on accessories. I had the front driver/passenger windows tinted yesterday too, along with the moon roof. The new tint level of my side front windows is not strictly legal here in Indiana but the tint guy talked me into matching the rear privacy tint. I also had him put a tinted glare strip across the top of the windshield. I think that is going to be useful.

I still need to pick a tonneau, suggestions welcomed. On my last two trucks I had the Access Roll-up Cover and was very satisfied with it each time. I am trying to determine if I want to try something new though. I like the looks of a hard folding top, like the Honda OEM cover. But I really like being able to use the whole bed without uninstalling the cover, which I cannot do with the Honda cover. I see there are some BAK Flip models that will allow all the panels to rotate out of the way.

Also I am afraid that the Honda cover is too easy to steal, with its tool-free removal and lack of side rails. I've had that problem with all of my trucks though really, since none of them had tailgate locks, but at least you need a wrench to steal the ones with side rails.

Though the side rails are a problem too aren't they? -- since they interfere with the trunk lid travel. Sigh...

Plus I have perceived some displeasure with the Honda cover on this site too (water leaks?), so I am basically vibrating in place right now. Anyone like the Honda cover? I need to move fast; I really miss having a cover.

Remaining on my wish list are a 7-yr/80K Honda Care warranty ~$890~ (still trying to make that decision -- I understand I have six months/6000 miles to decide) and new wheels. But thanks to you folks, I found great prices for both items at the online Honda dealerships promoted here. I am still thinking about going with the Honda factory "chrome-look" wheel upgrade, though I can't seem to find any good pictures of my truck wearing those wheels. I am just not sure I should sink ~$1300 in wheels, given that the factory take-offs are not really worth much in the used market.

I probably should stop investing in the truck at this point, since I splurged on the RTL-E when my budget told me I should have stuck with the RTL-T at most . But I will say, if you are on the fence between the -T and the -E and budget is not an issue, definitely go for the -E.

Not all the options in the -E package had value to me, but I really wanted the rear window, extra sound-proofing, blind spot monitors, and upgraded stereo. But I typically don't use a moon roof and was not sure about the Honda Sensing package or truck bed audio.

But it is instructive that I have found ways to use the bed audio feature three times in a week, and that Honda Sensing package is awesome, particularly the adaptive cruise control. The lane nanny features are going to take some getting used to, since I apparently hug the left lane line more than Honda thinks I should. And I have found that opening the moon roof while having the rear slider open moves a nice breeze through the truck without blowing you around.

The handling, even on dry pavement, with the AWD system is so sure-footed it is hard to believe. I tried to break the truck loose in a very heavy downpour we had this week, and I could not even spin a tire. I can't wait to try it in snow.

All in all, I love this vehicle. Honda knocked it out of the park for me. I know there are plenty of "not-a-real-truck", snob RL-haters out there, but this is precisely the "right real truck" for my needs. I know I am starting to sound like a fanboy, but I am really not. Honda engineering and their thoughtfulness about the consumer is just very impressive. I expect to be in this truck for a long time and am happy to have it.

Good luck with your yours! Thanks for reading till the end...
 

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Welcome! You sound like you use your truck about like I do. I, too, got the -E and haven't regretted doing so for one second.

As for the tonneau, I went with the OEM one. Although it can be removed without tools, it wouldn't really be useful to the thief with the brackets, which do require tools to remove. So, I haven't been all that concerned about it. The only time I have taken it off was when I had some furniture to move. It was a bit tricky getting it back in place, but I think that was lack of practice as much as anything. Doing it more often would allow one to get the hang of it.

As for the not-a-real truck folks, I have not heard that comment from anyone yet, and I've had the truck for about 5 months. I even had a guy at Lowe's the other day helping me load some landscaping rocks, and he was just raving about it. He had never seen one before, but was really impressed with the dual action tailgate, since opening it sideways made it easier to reach the bed floor. When he finished loading and closed the tailgate, he said "nice truck!" and patted it a couple times. I'm guessing he sees a lot of trucks in a typical day, too.

Anyway, welcome to the ROC. Enjoy the ride!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I had an OEM tonneau cover installed on my RTL-E earlier this week, then I washed the truck and saw an amount of water in the front corners of the bed. I crawled in under the tonneau, loosed the hold down bolts, propped up the cover and sealed up the groove on the side of each bed rail and sealed the deep cut outs in the rail that runs the width of the truck behind the rear window. Those seemed like the obvious place where the water was coming in. I used pieces of "camper tape" I had laying around. Sorry I didn't take photos.

Getting the tonneau centered on the bed before I tightened the hold down bolts took a little time but no problem. It would have gone faster with a helper. I also installed Tailgate Seal to close off the gaps around the tailgate. We'll see the results next time we get a hard rain or when I wash it.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Congrats on your, "G2"

Welcome to the ROC.

Good Luck and Enjoy the Ride!
 

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Welcome! We were shopping for "the next vehicle" for years, so don't feel bad about taking a long time to decide!!
 

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It will most likely not be your last Honda. I made the plunge back in 1981 and on my 19th one with the 2017 RTL-T. Best decision(s) I ever made. Enjoy your ride.
 
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